Paddling her way to Central America

Dr. Deb Walters heads out before dawn as she kayaks from Maine to Guatemala. (WTNH / Kent Pierce)

BRANFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A Maine woman is back in the water continuing a journey that will take her more than 2,500 miles in a kayak to Central America.

Dr. Deb Walters is a 63-year-old grandmother who is kayaking from her home in Maine to Guatemala, and doing it all for a very good cause. Nine years ago, Dr. Walters visited Guatemala City and went to a place that is probably not on the tourism council’s brochure. She went to a giant garbage dump where children spend all day scavenging in order to support their families.

Since then she’s been working with a group called “Safe Passage” to try to get those kids out of poverty, out of the garbage, and into a school.

“The children in Guatemala were worried I would be lonely, so they gave me a little rubber duck, so I can talk to Papito Amistoso during the day,” Dr. Walters said, “and Papito has his own blog that he writes for children to let them know what’s going on there.”

Dr. Walters stopped overnight in Branford, and left early this morning from the Branford Yacht Club. She thinks this journey will take her a full year.

Her kayak trip has already raised around $60,000 for Safe Passage, and we are helping her get the word out. You can donate to her cause, and track her journey to Guatemala, at

Dr. Deb Walters in her kayak.
Dr. Deb Walters in her kayak.

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